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 5. Is It Time To Switch? 

Many consumers are complacent about their monthly utility costs -- until they realize that the thousands they can save over five years will go a long way towards paying for their dreams.  The signup process for these utilities is pretty much hassle-free and takes only a few minutes.  Here's how to save:

Question Your Phoning Costs.  The average household can save at least $500 over five years by lowering long distance costs.  If you also take steps to save on cell phone costs and your local phone bill, your savings could well exceed $1,000.

Satellite TV Is Now Practical.  Satellite TV continues to gain market share from cable TV companies.  Satellite TV can be installed almost anywhere nowadays, even apartments and condos.  The government's FCC reports that on average, satellite TV costs $31 per month less than cable TV -- that adds up to a savings of $1800 over five years.  Installation is normally free, picture quality is excellent, and a consumer survey by J. D. Power (article, video) shows that customer satisfaction is high.

Explore Your Internet Alternatives.  Many internet access services cost $25 to $50 per month, amounting to $1,500 to $3,000 over five years.  Here are three ways to save big money over the long haul:

  1. Fast broadband $18/month DSL would save a lot compared to most Internet services.  It's available in almost all non-rural areas.

  2. You could switch to a $9.95/month dial-up plan if you're willing to accept slower speed.  Anything that requires high-speed access could be done at your local library.

  3. There are free dial-up services that give you ten free hours of access per month (again, you can use your local library as well.)

See How To Switch Now

Question Your Phoning Costs.  The site most recommended by consumer advocates is  They compare and rate a wide range of phone companies.  A good second choice is the Cognigen Rates Calculator.

Satellite TV Is Now Practical.  Dish Network starts at $19.99 per month.  Installation is free and you'll receive a credit on your bill of $100 ($200 if you sign up for HDTV.)  If you sign up today, you'll also receive a free digital video recorder and a free movie channel package for the first three months.  DirecTV starts at $29.99 per month.  Those prices are for 40-channel packages; most people will choose to pay about $40 to get more channels at either site.

Explore Your Internet Alternatives.  Here are three ways to save big:

  1. Broadband DSL is available from Verizon DSL for about $18/month.  Their site says "$14.99 per month" but in practice their taxes and surcharges will tack on a few more dollars.  Apply online and get a $25 Target gift card and your first 30 days free, with modem included.  A survey by J. D. Power (article) shows that Verizon DSL's customer satisfaction is significantly higher than average.

  2. Sites that offer unlimited dial-up service for about $10 per month include NetZero, PeoplePC and Netscape.  A survey by J. D. Power (article) shows that consumer satisfaction is highest for PeoplePC.

  3. Free dial-up service is unusual now, but it's still available from

- Or -

It Pays To Eat Right
Outsmart Marketers By Thinking Long-Term...

Clever marketers get your money in affordable monthly installments, hoping you won't notice how it gradually adds up to a big financial drain.  Yet some people don't take 5-10 minutes to get savings that will amount to thousands.  Nobody's sure why... sometimes we get lazy, other times we just get entrenched in our old ways.


  Quick Tour Guide 

  1. Two Trillion-Dollar Mistakes  
  2. Security Steps You Must Take  
  3. Get Maximum "Cash Back"  
  4. Surprising Auto Safety Facts  
  5. Is It Time To Switch?  
  6. It Pays To Eat Right  
  7. Right-Size Your Insurance  
  8. Your Best Conservation Bets  

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